Making a Difference #11: Adriana

Learn about one young woman who has not stopped working hard on her recovery since the moment she woke up from her coma.

[♪mellow music♪] One of my paintings, it was in the exposition at the art museum. [♪♪] My grandma on my dad's side, she loves to paint, and I think I got that from her. [♪♪] I was 16 when I had my injury, and I'm 24 now. My life has been--I have not stopped ever. I mean, since I woke up, it was therapy after therapy. I've always been active. I went to different places for rehab. And even now I come to the Wellness Center. [therapist] Don't let it touch. I don't remember one single time that I have stopped. I don't think that has happened ever. I don't know. [breathing heavily] [therapist] Do you want some water? After this one you can get some water. Hold on, hold on. You'll set it up? >>Yes, yes, yes, yes. Ready? Okay. I am. >>Okay. Remember, we click as we go down. As you go down, you start coming down too. Move your legs at the same time. Go. [machine clicking] [therapist] Open this one over here. Right there. That one even more. There we go. Go. [machine clicking] Beautiful. That's enough. One. I want you to put your knees all the way back. Two. There we go. Three. Beautiful, Adriana. Four. [machine clicking] Five. [machine clicking] Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Come down. Ready? Walk backwards. There we go. Give me a high five. Every morning I wake up at 6:00, I get dressed, I comb my hair, I brush my teeth, I put my shoes on, whatever, have breakfast. I have to be ready by 7:00. At 7:00 the bus picks me up. [machinery clanking] We arrive to work around 8:00. At 8:00 the bell rings and we work. I am an assembly operator, primarily. I think the box is pretty big for me to miss it. Everything I had to relearn. Just from the second I woke up from the coma, it was everything. From talking... walking, tying my shoelaces, getting dressed, taking a bath. Everything except sleeping, I guess. Don't stop fighting. Don't lose hope or faith in your child or yourself. It changes your life... your family and those around you. It changes you. But the pain and the struggle makes you grow as a person. Makes you value what you have. And that is something positive. Things happen because they have to. But there is always a reason. What can I achieve, what can I accomplish for my child, my family and those around me? [female speaker] It took a very long time for us to find a placement, simply because there's not a whole lot of areas in the valley, in general, anywhere that will be that accepting and accommodating to individuals with disabilities. With her physical limitations, it was very evident. A lot of times people do have that stereotype and that bias that, "Okay, well, she has a disability. How is it going to affect my business?" Every little bit counts, I guess. >>Yes. Right now you have more than 20 pieces. She still doesn't accept or recognize that she's not the same 16-year-old Adriana who drove, danced was a very good student and very independent. She's still a person when she decides to do something she tries hard to do it. Here at work it was frustrating just to make knots. Something so simple for us was an incredible challenge for her. [♪♪] She'd come home and say, "I only made five today, but tomorrow I have to make ten." This morning she showed me a paper and said, "Look how few I made when I started and the hundreds I make now." [♪♪] I have gotten a long way. I feel I have. Work hard at that, just work, work, work. Just give it all you've got. [♪♪]
Posted on BrainLine April 8, 2011.

Produced by Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council.